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I’m really liking the unconventional heroines the author gives us, and that’s true for Isolde (Izzy) Ophelia Goodnight, who despite having to endure plenty never gives up. Izzy is stubborn, funny and wilful in a delightful way (all of which makes the hero in this very lucky). The hero in this is Ransom who was a magnificent Rake, prior to being blinded and scarred, now he is a rather grumpy ass - but a rather endearing ass. I love how Izzy never lets him scare her off, and her reason for being there in the morning when he wakes will having you smiling.
I did wish Ransom hadn’t been positioned as a once being a man-whore, could have done without that, and that Izzy would have stopped referring to herself as being super plain. Plus, I wanted there to have been a scene where we saw Izzy’s odious cousin get some of what he deserves, but these are small niggles in the scheme of things – this book was a lovely read.
This book was a lovely combination of fun, humour, charm and some smut, and had a nice dash of silliness to it to, defo going in my re-read pile.
The author is exploiting a genre that goes back to the Mysteries of Udolpho. The story is set in a mouldering, underlit castle complete with bats, secret passages and skeletons. The owner of this is a beastlike Duke with a facial scar, a churlish manner and a drinking habit. The heroine Issie is well-accustomed to all the flummery of high chivalry and fairy tales, her father made his from such tales of high romance. She even has a pet ermine (weasel) called Snowdrop! There is much bodice-ripping and swooning as well as sex but the author is quite ambivalent about exploiting the story for its comic value. Some of the characters have behaved in a wicked melodramatic way, but she points out the pitfalls and impracticalities of such conventions. I couldn't really take such a saga seriously, but the element of farce was underplayed and I could not engage with the story.
I enjoyed the book I bought into the romance and appreciate they didn't give him his sight back. I thought the end could have been better written as was a bit silly. Also found it a little annoying there was no real discussion about how totally compromised Izzy was from the first night spent alone in a bachelor's home let alone the rest
I found this to be much more focused than Dare's earlier work, and yet with all the charm and fun and romance that you could wish for.
With all the action taking place in one place, this really clips along smoothly, at a cracking pace that really keeps the reader engaged. I am a fool for fairy tales, and she finds a terrific balance between using the style as a framework, and also calling the plausibility of fairy tales into question. Loved the hero and heroine, and am looking forward to the next in the series!
Tessa Dare has a very humorous, engaging and fast paced writing style. The story drew me in and it was no hardship to keep reading to the end. The plot was very different to what I've read before and the characters were well fleshed out. The interaction between the two main characters was heart warming and quite hilarious in some parts, and I understood how their histories shaped their current personalities and thoughts and what they wanted from life. The supporting characters were also well written and I ended up liking them more than the H and h. The story was a good length and not predictable, which made a very refreshing change to the books I've recently been reading.
The reason why I took away a star was because this book is not your average Traditional Historical Romance. It is more of a Fantasy Historical Romance. By that I mean that the whole story felt unrealistic and I had no idea of what period the story was set in - was it Regency, Victorian or possibly even Edwardian? In the end I decided that it didn't matter and that the book was more of an escapism read - something that I didn't know I needed!